Health districts in CT planning for distribution of at-home COVID tests

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday Connecticut will get ahead of the curve after securing three million rapid test kits and six million N95 masks to distribute across the state — a total cost of $18.5 million paid through federal funds.

It will start this week with municipalities handing out 500,000 iHealth kits, each containing two tests.

Health districts in New Haven, Hartford and Middletown tell News 8 they’re each still waiting to learn how many tests they get. Once they do, they’ll be able to finalize details on distribution. All of them hope to start handing them out on Friday.

“I think it’s really great timing for the state to be doing this, you know, right after a major holiday going into another holiday weekend,” said Liany Arroyo, health and human services director for the City of Hartford.

Hartford is looking at setting up multiple distribution sites throughout the city over a number of days. They’re considering a variety of factors.

“We want to look at, you know, places where we might be seeing a larger number of cases emanating from,” Arroyo said. “We want to look up maybe neighborhoods where there’s not as much access to a vehicle.”

New Haven is thinking of having at least two sites and early plans in Middletown indicate a location at the high school. Each municipality will require you to verify residency and may limit the number of kits per household. The directors urge people to think of their neighbors when deciding to pick up a kit.

“I do want to remind those individuals that are more privy to resources to not get a test kit, save a test kit for someone that really needs it,” said Maritza Bond, director of public health for the City of New Haven.

If you work or have children in a K-12 school, the state will also roll out another one million kits to districts in January.

“We have to make sure that we are prioritizing and making sure that these are going into the hands that will make the most impact,” said Kevin Elak, acting director of health for the City of Middletown.

Health officials want to make sure people know the rapid tests are a great tool for peace of mind if you have been exposed or are symptomatic, as long as they are used properly, following the directions in the box and CDC guidance. They say to remember they aren’t a replacement for PCR tests or vaccines and boosters.

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